Brassil Says Govt Is Failing Children With Disabilities

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Deputy John Brassil.

KERRY’S Fianna Fáil Deputy, John Brassil says the Government is continuing to fail Kerry children with disabilities after it emerged  that 50% of all long waiters for assessments are in Kerry and Cork alone.

“At what point is Minister Finian McGrath going to fulfil his role as Disabilities’ Minister and deal with the unacceptable delays in Assessment of Needs (AONs) for Kerry children with disabilities?” asked Deputy Brassil.

Deputy Brassil was commenting after receiving fresh data from the HSE on the number of children waiting for an Assessment of Need in Kerry and Cork is 1,795.

“To make matters worse, 9 in 10 are now overdue by over three months. How is this acceptable? There is a statutory obligation on the HSE, under the 2005 Disability Act, to ensure that AONs take place within three months of an application being received.

“Minister McGrath’s delivery of progress on this issue leads me to believe that he is not being forceful enough with his Fine Gael colleagues in Government.

“Until children with disabilities receive their AON report, they are unable to receive the full therapeutic supports needed to enable them lead normal lives. However, waiting times for AONs continue to rise and in Kerry, children with disabilities are faring much worse than the national average.

“Why are 50% of the total number of children nationally waiting longer than 12 months in Cork and Kerry alone? Minister McGrath must identify why assessments are not being completed on time and what additional resources are needed to reduce the waiting times for children and their families,” concluded Brassil.

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